22nd Mar 2014 to 29th Mar 2014
Dominic Hill, Artistic Director of Glasgow’s Citizens Theatre, will bring Verdi’s opera Macbeth to audiences in Glasgow and Edinburgh this spring. Remaining true to the Shakespearian tale of betrayal, murder and power, the opera chronicles the fatal downfall of Macbeth – urged on by his wife to realise the prophecy of a trio of witches and claim Scotland’s throne.
Hill’s operatic production, first staged by Scottish Opera in 2005 is inspired by the war-ravaged Balkans of the late 20th Century. Hill and designer Tom Piper have created a dystopia of camouflage-clad leaders and chain-smoking witches to tell the story of civil war and a lust for power.
Director, Dominic Hill said:
“We wanted to find a contemporary world that could carry the action of Macbeth with civil war and a struggle for power, but which still has a strong religious undercurrent to it. To convey that idea, we’ve taken inspiration from the Balkans conflict of the late 1990s, and of course audiences will recognise the same tragic themes from modern religious conflicts that we still see on the news today.
“But it’s important to say that this isn’t a hi-tech, high-testosterone take on Macbeth – it’s true that the production is influenced by images of the Balkans Conflict, but it also takes inspiration from Russian religious icons and painting.
“The libretto is largely lifted from Shakespeare’s writing, but we’ve tried to ensure that the action on stage will be something that today’s audiences can engage with.”
Macbeth opens at the Citizen’s Theatre on the 22nd March, and will also travel to the King’s Theatre in Edinburgh, with performances in the capital from the 8th April, before touring Scotland later in 2014.
Unusually, the production will not visit Scottish Opera’s home, the Theatre Royal Glasgow, due to a temporary closure in order to complete the new foyers – which are due to be finished before the opening of the Commonwealth Games this summer.
Leading the cast of Macbeth is David Stephenson, who made a powerful impression as Giorgio Germont in Scottish Opera’s 50th Anniversary staging of La traviata. Singing the part of Lady Macbeth will be Elisabeth Meister, a former Jette Parker Young Artist at the Royal Opera House.
Among the witches will be Scottish Opera Emerging Artist Sioned Gwen Davies. All performances will be accompanied by a chamber orchestra of players from The Orchestra of Scottish Opera, conducted by Scottish Opera Head of Music, Derek Clark.
Scottish Opera’s General Director, Alex Reedijk said:
“We are excited to be nearing the finishing line of the project to transform our home, the Theatre Royal. Reaching this stage means that the theatre must close for 14 weeks to allow the old and the new parts of the building to be joined together.
“Usually at this time in our season, we would be presenting a mainscale opera, but without the use of our theatre, we can’t do that. However, we wanted to perform as much opera as we could for our audiences, so I’m delighted that we’ve been able to visit the Citizens and the King’s in order to present Dominic Hill’s excellent Macbeth.”